Can you claim ‘no win, no fee’ legal costs in Inheritance Act disputes?

May 20th, 2020

An adult child with complex mental health issues, who was estranged from her parents, has succeeded in a claim against her late Father’s estate for reasonable financial provision. The judge acknowledged that may in part be due to her mental health issues.

The estate was valued at £554,000 and the daughter was awarded £138,000 (approximately 25% of the estate). This was for on-going care and to cover shortfall in income against outgoings, rental deposit, new white goods, and replacement of a dilapidated car.

Interestingly, part of the award was to cover part of the uplift of the Conditional Fee Agreement (sometimes called no win, no fee) that the daughter was liable to pay her Solicitors for succeeding in the case. This is the third case where this issue has been considered recently.

The Judge declined to make an award to buy a new house for the daughter because of the mother’s on-going care needs, and the fact that the daughter was estranged from her parents. The parents had only partially contributed to her living costs for four years.

It is important to account for fact that the mother was disbarred from the proceedings due to failure to comply with previous court orders. She was in a care home, but had some substantial assets to meet future care needs, (over £400,000). Whilst the Judge was careful to protect her position, it’s important to remember that this judgement was made with no argument in favour of the mother.

Inheritance act claims are unfortunately becoming more commonplace. If you feel that you are entitled to a sum from an estate, or would like to discuss your options when pursuing a claim, contact Verisona Law today on 02392 98 1000 or email connect@verisonalaw.com